Date Published: 2024/01/11
Read Time: mins
Collector car buffs will be heading out to the movie theatre this Christmas to catch the highly anticipated release of the biopic Ferrari. Focusing on the defining year in the life of Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 racing team and the Ferrari automotive brand, the movie will cover dramatic events surrounding his personal life.
However, you can be assured that you will get a chance to see a bunch of rare and beautiful Ferrari classic cars sporting that iconic Rosso Corsa colour, with the Ferrari Scuderia entries in the 1957 endurance race taking centre stage.
Triumph and tragedy framed Ferrari participation in the 1957 Mille Miglia. The 1,000-mile endurance race roared through the countryside of Italy, starting in Brescia and winding its way to Rome and back. The trailer for the movie highlights the field of classic competition vehicles hugging the turns on winding mountain roads.
Ferrari equipped Piero Taruffi, a longtime competitor and friend, with the 315 S after Taruffi declared that if he won Mille Miglia, he would retire from racing.
The ill-fated Alfonso de Portago piloted the newer 335 S and expected its updated design and ability to steal the trophy.
But they were not the only cars on the course. Over 390 cars entered the race with 25 classes welcoming all types of competition vehicles. While only 310 took the green flag, the spectacle drew thousands of spectators out of their homes that lined the course across the country.
Which would escalate the scope of the horrific tragedy late in the race.
The epic road race will sit at centre stage for the film, and we are getting plenty of eye candy in the trailers with the pair of ruby red sports cars running fender to fender. Are they truly an equal match? Let's take a closer look at them under the sheet metal.
Ferrari 315 S
The older racing machine featured an open cockpit and two-seat design. Under the hood rumbled a monstrous V12 engine with a total displacement of 3783.40 cubic centimetres. Its 360 horsepower and sculpted sheet metal could reach a top speed of 290 km/h.
While over 20 Ferrari machines entered the Mille Miglia, the one piloted by Taruffi was owned by Enzo Ferrari. As such, it was not just Taruffi racing toward a trophy.
Ferrari 335 S
The Scuderia Ferrari stable also fielded a pair of the latest grand prix racing machines built by their own team. Alfonso de Portago would drive No. 531 and Peter Collins piloted No. 534.
The 335 S boasted a slightly larger engine with a 4023.32 cc displacement and upped its horsepower to 390. On the straightaway, it achieved a top speed of 300 km/h. Handling also improved as the manufacturers tweaked the front wishbone suspension with coil springs and hydraulic shocks while a transverse leaf spring supported the rear.
Both the 315 and 335 sported the same wheelbase and front and rear track, prepared to slide through the turns and power up the straights.
As the race was nearing the end, Peter Collins was beginning to fade with mechanical difficulties. Taruffi was encouraged by Enzo to continue fighting as it looked like he could overtake Collins. In the mix, de Portago was running third and racing down a straight near Corlongo when his tire blew. This launched his machine into the crowd, killing him, his navigator, and nine spectators.
For the Ferrari film, cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt built a self-driving rig featuring a look-alike Ferrari shell and positioned six high-speed cameras. It was a single shot, as the mock de Portago car would be as thoroughly destroyed as the original. They captured the horrifying wreck at full speed near Modena, Italy and only gave us a glimpse of the feat in the trailer.
Meanwhile, the race continued. Piero Taruffi would sit atop the podium, and he did retire from racing. The Mille Miglia would never run again.
But perhaps the best part of the peek into the film for car enthusiasts, is the roar of a fleet of finely tuned racing engines. The majority of the movie will be framed around family life and business discussions, but we will still get our fill of the mechanical symphony of naturally aspirated engines and the rapid shifting of a multi-clutch manual transmission.
You can experience the beauty and excitement of a fleet of classic cars from Ferrari in motion when you catch the theatrical release of Ferrari on Christmas Day 2023.
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